Published on May 14th, 2012 | by Jill Bastian0
Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, er, Video
Using videos in your email can be great for engagement; including them can help you achieve higher clickthrough rates and help keep your recipients opening your emails. This might sound complicated (or even frightening) to you technophobes out there, but videos don’t have to be like a scary B-movie. Here are some Dos and Don’ts to get you using videos with ease:
Host your video with a reputable company. Once you’ve created your video you’ll need to host it somewhere that’s public so that others can see it. There are lots of options out there, but a few ideas are YouTube, Vimeo, or Viddler. Any of these companies will host your video, provide embed code (for your website) and a URL to where the video is hosted. You’ll need this URL for your emails.
Use the embed code provided by the hosting company in your email. This type of code is what you’ll need if you want to post the video on your website or blog. But most email service providers (ESPs) will either find the code too big or won’t be able to read it, so the video will not show up in your email.
Take a screenshot of your video, preferably with the ‘Play’ button placed on the image. The more it looks like a video, the easier it will be for your recipients to know what they need to do. Use this screenshot as you would any image in your email, and once you’ve placed it in your email, use the URL of where you hosted your video to link your image. The example below shows you how your video will look in your email: just like an image, but the ‘Play’ button makes all the difference.
Forget alt text! Including alternative text essentially provides you with backup in case a recipient cannot initially see your images because their ESP is blocking them. Just like any image in your email, alt text can help encourage your recipients to turn on the images, and in this case, watch your video.
There you have it, easy tips to using videos in your email, nothing to be afraid of at all!
© 2012 – 2013, Jill Bastian. All rights reserved.